Arcade Fire
Funeral


4.0
excellent

Review

by jtswope USER (96 Reviews)
October 26th, 2012 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Arcade Fire make a name for themselves with a stunning and revolutionary album that reaches out to each and every person who has endured emotional turmoil.

Arcade Fire was a band that I originally discovered by word of mouth. For an indie band, these guys were gaining a lot of attention. Naturally, I couldn't resist checking them out, and I immediately fell in love with the band. Funeral, the band's debut studio album, presents a well-rounded sound with a prominent sense of unity. Not often is a communal effort so compelling and sensational. Thus, Funeral will go down in history as a definitive album with a clear vision and identity.

One trait that really sticks out on Funeral is the multitude of instruments used to craft something poignant, passionate, and inspiring. Arcade Fire does incorporate the elements of a rock band with guitars, drums, and bass, but many of the tracks are adorned with violin, accordions, french horns, piano, cellos, and more. These instruments give the album an orchestral feel, marked by a grand presence of musical composition and ambition. Furthermore, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne deliver moving lyrics that evoke reminiscence and contemplation. The lyrics reach out to the listener, empowered by instrumentation of colossal proportions.

The symphonic arrangement of the LP makes the album's small-world themes to feel larger than life. The splendor of childhood is explored throughout while ideas of death casually permeate the album. Interpreting this album becomes less challenging with multiple listens, but there is always an aura of wonder that never fades.

"Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" examines the struggles of youth in a small town. The song opens with ethereal pianos charged with anticipation. Butler's passion surges through his lyrics as the song picks up in volume and scale. "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)" pulsates with punchy drumming that complements the eccentric rhythm. "Une Année Sans Lumiére" tones things down through more soft-spoken vocals and gentle guitar. Nevertheless, the concept of mortality overshadows the song, and the imagery is prevalent. Lyrics like "The streetlights all burnt out" puts death into the perspective of the neighborhood that connects the speaker with his surroundings.

"Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) cranks up the volume with booming instrumentation. The track is a breath of fresh air bursting with heartwarming encouragement despite hints of utter hopelessness. Again, the metaphorical significance of the song leaves it open to interpretation. The song's most uplifting moment comes about four minutes in when Butler sings, "And the power's out in the heart of man. Take it from your heart, put it in your hand." The lyrics demonstrate the speaker's faith in humanity's future progress in the face of a harsh and malicious society. The violin brings sensitivity to these words and gives the track unwavering vigor.

Moreover, "Neighborhood #4 (Kettles)" is another mellow and soothing performance from the band. The benevolent guitar is juxtaposed with some subtle strings that convey sadness. The lyrics are also more direct, alluding to the inevitable passage of time. "Wake Up" is a robust rocker about empty promises with a stimulating intro and strapping guitar. Also, "Haiti" is another fine vocal performance from Chassagne with a touch of reverb. Its melody is engaging and its diversified instrumentation keeps the track interesting. Overall, it is a touching account of the horrors of war and violence, presented in an understated manner.

Closing the LP is "In the Backseat", a warmhearted return to the themes of childhood and growing up. Chassagne carries a massive amount of emotion in her voice, particularly when she peaks during the chorus. As the song picks up with dynamic percussion, the presence of the entire band is felt. The track's resolution is both substantial and fulfilling.

Funeral is an immersive album that brings forth all of the band's greatest strengths as songwriters, lyricists, and composers. There is not a dull moment on this album, and each listen enhances the experience that much more. The rush of emotion on Funeral is felt with a cohesive collection of tracks. Arcade Fire does not demand respect here, but they earn it nonetheless with this groundbreaking debut album.

Favorite Tracks:
Haiti
In the Backseat
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)



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user ratings (4041)
4.3
superb
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Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
October 26th 2012


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

like this much more than what came after

SaneTBP
October 26th 2012


2070 Comments


Been digging this recently :D

Point1
October 26th 2012


842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Score's right

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2012


57430 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Never understood this band

Digging: Charli XCX - How I'm Feeling Now

KILL
October 26th 2012


81241 Comments


and u never will~

KILL
October 26th 2012


81241 Comments


desolence???????

SaneTBP
October 26th 2012


2070 Comments


fuk u guys this rules

KILL
October 26th 2012


81241 Comments


dude shall i 1 it

SaneTBP
October 26th 2012


2070 Comments


hmm

Observer
Emeritus
October 26th 2012


8570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'm going to have to neg. The reviews reads choppy and your analysis of the album is too bare bones (and cliche, by this point).

Digging: The Trees And The Wild - Zaman, Zaman

KILL
October 26th 2012


81241 Comments


suck my bare bone ;)

jtswope
October 26th 2012


5788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

seems like you're giving a neg only because you've seen a bunch of reviews for this already. what about it is choppy exactly?

Ethics
October 26th 2012


4112 Comments


he simply had to neg

KILL
October 26th 2012


81241 Comments


hes pissed dude he doesnt get the emotionz between the linez

Ethics
October 26th 2012


4112 Comments


fuck this album i never listen to it

Tyrael
October 26th 2012


21112 Comments


RIP KILL

Ethics
October 26th 2012


4112 Comments


gonna have to neg, sorry

KILL
October 26th 2012


81241 Comments


did i die or do you mean rust in peace which is a way better album yea a greed dude sweet

Observer
Emeritus
October 26th 2012


8570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

seems like you're giving a neg only because you've seen a bunch of reviews for this already




dont patronize me



just read the first paragraph again. theres no flow, just declarative sentences jumbled in a paragraph

KILL
October 26th 2012


81241 Comments


helloween>>



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